back to article Yarrrr, the Business Software Alliance reckons piracy be down, me hearties

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has put out a report showing that while the use of unlicensed software is dropping, it is due to a fear of malware rather than a worry of a visit from the lawyers. The global survey (PDF), conducted in conjunction with IDC, was based on a sample size of 22,500 from 110 national and region …

  1. JohnFen

    The BSA

    I. for one, couldn't care less what he BSA says or thinks about anything whatsoever.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The BSA

      I used to like their motorbikes

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: The BSA

      I haven't heard from that lot for years. Can you still get a payout for reporting a company to the BSA for unlicensed software you installed the day before?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the GDP to price radio innit.

    USA = low prices and high GDP

    So big update of legitimate software

    India = moderate prices and very low GDP

    Lots of piracy because legit software is probably unaffordable by the masses

    China / Russia = Doesn't matter, high avaibility of pirate material plus no enforcement. No one will pay at any price probably.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "t's the GDP to price radio"

      Nice Freudian slip in the context of piracy.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "use of unlicensed software is dropping, it is due to a fear of malware rather than a worry of a visit from the lawyers."

    Could it also be that more and better Open Source alternatives are available?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Could it also be that more and better Open Source alternatives are available?"

      I'd not be surprised if free s/w was being counted as unlicensed. After all, if you didn't pay how on earth could it possibly be legit? :-)

    2. rmason

      another factor

      another factor to consider is the drop off in buying certain types of software.

      Man+dog in the SME world are shifting away from purchasing software and going to something shiny, web based, and a monthly subscription. For accounting SAGE and a few others used to be all everyone used. There are loads of web/cloud based offerings now, encountering them at more and more business. Sage seats and support are expensive, some of the alternatives (kashflow for eg if memory serves ) are only ten quid a month for the basics.

      Accounting stuff is just one example. Same is true for CRM stuff, office packages (365 is everywhere), timekeeping/management stuff (we use one of these where I work) etc etc.

      People are replacing software at hundreds or even thousands of pounds, with some something-as-a-service or "we are cloud based now!" type deal for peanuts a month,

      When it doesn't work the same/as well/at all bean counters then move you around to the next and the next etc, because the alternative is going back to paying thousands in software and licensing again.

  4. David Pearce

    Or is the change in usage? Ten years ago everyone in KL had a home PC, often pirate Windows and nearly always pirate Office.

    Now hardly anyone seems to have a PC and if they do, it is just for Facebook

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Now hardly anyone seems to have a PC and if they do, it is just for Facebook"

      In my experience - people use PCs for serious typing, spreadsheets, or gaming. They use their smart phones for Facebook.

    2. JohnFen

      Huh? Literally everyone I know has at least one PC in their home.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        only one?

        Thems rookie numbers.... you need to be pushing double digits for the techie cred.

        1. JohnFen

          Re: only one?

          I think you missed the "at least" part. And I'm talking about literally everyone I know, not just techies.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Updraft102

        Literally everyone I know has at least one PC in their home.

        One? I have five just in the room I am in now, and I live alone!

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge


      Or another change in usage, where now it's all in the cloud and there's nothing to pirate?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Having users pay a subscription to access the service along with the ability to switch off the lights if payment is not forthcoming will also be attractive from the vendor’s point of view."

    Not so attractive to users - here's an appropriate logo. NSFW?

  6. JulieM

    Piracy does not hurt who you think it hurts

    Piracy does not hurt who you think it hurts.

    When someone makes a pirate copy of Adobe Photoshop, AutoCad or Microsoft Office, it's absolutely not Adobe, Autodesk or Microsoft who are losing out. Rather, it's the publishers of inexpensive, competing photo editors / CAD software / office suites who are the real victims.

    When given the choice of "pay £500 for the well-known package or £50 for something that will do a good enough job", many people would elect to save £450 by forgoing the brand name. But once you introduce pirate copies into the mix, and the well-known package is available for £0, that's what people will use; and then, you may as well go for the most expensive product and maximise your savings.

    And it's really no skin off Adobe's / Autodesk's / Microsoft's nose, either, since the people who use pirated software were never going to pay for the expensive stuff in the first place; if they were going to buy software, they'd make do with the cheaper packages. In fact, if someone teaches themself photo editing with a pirate copy of Adobe Photoshop, if they ever get a job editing photographs then they'll be asking for Adobe Photoshop -- the same tool they learned with. Without rampant piracy, the self-taught photo editor user might ask their new employer for the cheap tool with which they are familiar, resulting in a lost sale for Adobe.

    The reality is, if you're trying to sell an office suite for £50, you're competing with Microsoft Office for £0. And nobody need ever even make a single unauthorised copy of your software; but piracy will still be the reason you go out of business.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Piracy does not hurt who you think it hurts

      JulieM well argued. The retail value loss of pirated software was always a bit of a nonsense. Or indeed home copied music. If people were thinking about paying £x00 for a retail product and then decided to get a pirate version it'd hurt the publishers. If they were never going to buy it in the first place the publishers won't feel a thing. Similarly buying and swapping music CDs didn't much hurt the industry. People bought what they could afford and swapped the rest. Arguably more likely to buy something if they knew it was swap worthy.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Piracy does not hurt who you think it hurts

        Don't forget if they copy the CD with a 48x burner - it counts as 48x as much piracy

        RIAA in a spin over CD copying bust

    2. FuzzyWuzzys

      Re: Piracy does not hurt who you think it hurts

      The other aspect is that some of these companies love certain sections of society actually going ahead an ripping off their software as much as possible.

      Art and phototgraphy students ripping off Photoshop means they learn Photoshop, then when they get out into the real world they immediately demand that Photoshop be the first choice from their employer or for their business, that's when Adobe get their "loss" back, when student goes out into the workplace and orders up a genuine license. Same with MS software years ago, students came out into the workplace only knowing MS software and that's what they expect when they began their working lives, "kerching!" for MS.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    and roorting and cartells are up

    Blooddy land lubbers, need to administer the whole internet and industry.

  8. FuzzyWuzzys

    Mobile app sales

    A large scale paradigm shift towards the mobile app, always on, always connected, cloud service based world we now find ourselves in. We're used to paying $1 for an app or tolerating ads in our free apps, we get used to getting something good for peanuts, we've had our mindset changed to realise that cheap doesn't mean utter crap. So we're now more open minded to try cheap alternatives knowing that while there's still a lot of ad-infested dross, there's some genuine diamonds-in-the-rough out there that cost next to nothing.

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